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History of the Sitcom explores the rise of diversity in television in its fifth episode, “Finding Race”. Below we’ve ranked our favorite sitcom series that were featured in this episode.
The Jeffersons was a very powerful show in a sense because it portrayed a Black family “movin’ on up” as the theme song says. For minority communities especially, it was admirable to see an individual or a family from the neighborhood find greater financial success because they understood what they had to go through to achieve that success, and what they have to do to maintain it: long, hard work and immense dedication. There was and still is unequal pay in society, which affects minority families the most. The Jeffersons tackled racial issues and aired from 1975 to 1985. There was true depth to the show because it showed that Black families can be just as successful and relatable as the White families being portrayed on TV at the time.
Airing from 2002 to 2007, George Lopez was essentially the first American sitcom to center around a Latinx family. As George Lopez himself explains in History of the Sitcom: “If you’re gonna open a restaurant, in the beginning you have to make it appeal to everyone.” In other words, the producers of the show primarily wanted to make sure the series would find success by being relatable to everyone who watches TV; not just Latinx families. However, despite what they assumed, George Lopez found utter success by portraying an authentic Latinx family and showed that they experience the same things as all families do, regardless of race or ethnicity. Hilariously truthful and heart-warming, George Lopez is easily a go-to family favorite.
Fresh off the Boat
Fresh Off the Boat is honest and funny and features an outstanding cast including Constance Wu and Randall Park. The series focuses on the experiences of an immigrant Asian family in the 1990s wanting to achieve their American dream. Much like The Jeffersons and George Lopez, Fresh Off the Boat also tackles racism and the experiences of a minority family adapting to changes in their new move. Equally fresh and sarcastically hilarious, Fresh Off the Boat is incredibly relatable and will keep you laughing with every episode.
“Finding Race” has been one of the most important episodes thus far in History of the Sitcom. It’s essential that the television industry continues to emphasize on minority characters in main roles on screen, and to hire people from all walks of life in order to increase relatability and honesty in media content.
Lauren Weber is a Penn State University student majoring in Telecommunications and minoring in Spanish, and is an aspiring television writer and producer.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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